People watch a television broadcasting news of North Korea firing a missile that flew over Japan's northern Hokkaido far out into the Pacific Ocean. Photo: Reuters/Kim Hong-Ji

UPI is quoting a South Korean analyst as saying that Pyongyang’s latest launch of what appears to be a midrange ballistic missile over Japan is practice for a rocket siege against the US military base in Guam.

Kim Dong-yup, professor at the Institute for Far East Studies of Kyungnam University in South Korea, told UPI that the missile’s path to the Pacific Ocean is a sign North Korea is carrying out practice for a “Guam siege plan.”

Other analysts said that the latest firing over Japan is a sign that Pyongyang is changing its strategy, and moving closer to perfecting an intercontinental ballistic missile capable of reaching the United States.

South Korean military experts say the test may have been a “tough choice” for Kim Jong-un, including the test in August of the Hwasong-12 that passed over Japan and landed in the Pacific Ocean.

But “once (Kim) decided, it is likely the future tests of midrange, long-range missiles will continue as planned,” going deeper into uncharted waters, one South Korean military analyst told News 1.

North Korea’s missile on Friday covered a distance of 2,300 miles, according to South Korea’s military. Pyongyang had previously launched multiple missiles designed to land in the East Sea, or the Sea of Japan.

Asia Times Financial is now live. Linking accurate news, insightful analysis and local knowledge with the ATF China Bond 50 Index, the world's first benchmark cross sector Chinese Bond Indices. Read ATF now.